Before Charlie Cox burst onto the scene with Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix, Ben Affleck had played the character in the 20th Century Fox film some 12 years earlier. Cox tells ComicBook.com he initially avoided watching the feature throughout the auditioning process in order to separate his take on the character from the one that appeared on screen alongside Jennifer Garner, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Colin Farrell. Now that Daredevil has been cancelled by Netflix and he isn't actively portraying the character — at least for the foreseeable future — Cox has watched the flick. As it turns out, he thoroughly enjoyed Affleck's take on Ol' Hornhead.
"Yeah, I have. And, you know, I really enjoyed it," Cox tells us. "The one thing that was apparent to me when I was preparing for this role, was that the tone of this character, the tone of the world of Daredevil, changes drastically over the run from 1964, depending on who's writing it, depending on who's the graphic designer, and who's drawing it. I don't believe there's one definitive Daredevil."
He's got a point. You have runs from the very first Daredevil story told by Stan Lee, Bill Everett, and Jack Kirby to Frank Miller and Klaus Janson's stuff. Then there are the runs from Brian Michael Bendis and Alex Maleev, David Mack, Mark Waid, and more.
"There are many great runs, and it's very subjective," the actor adds. "There are personal preferences. Some people love the Frank Miller stuff. I love the Frank Miller stuff. I love the Bendis, Maleev stuff. Then there are other periods that don't really speak to me as much. And, I think that the film is set in a certain tone, though is very different from what we were trying to do. But, I really enjoyed it, and I've always said this."
Admittedly, Cox love's Affleck's portrayal of attorney Matt Murdock. With any proper movie review, however, there are some criticisms. On that front, Cox says the timeline of the flick was a bit too jumpy for his tastes. Then, on top of that, he suggests the character deserves the time to breathe in the form of a long-form television series.
"I always thought that Ben Affleck's portrayal of Matt Murdock was really good. I mean, I thought it was really spot on," Cox says. "I think the movie at times totally does kind of jump around a bit and is a bit confusing. It's also difficult, it's right at the beginning of all the CGI stuff, and that very quickly looks quite old now. But at the time, it was really cool that they were attempting that."
He concludes, "It is obviously therefore very well suited to long-form television. Because, you've got, you know, decades of great stories, and characters, and ideas. What was great for us without kind of plagiarizing any particular moment or particular run, we were able to pick and choose moments that have worked really well, and we had, as I said, 60 years of research to draw on."
Our chat with Cox comes in support of the ComicBook.com #QuarantineWatchParty of Daredevil we're hosting Thursday night. Joining us include showrunner Erik Oleson and actors Vincent D'Onofrio, Deborah Ann Woll, Wilson Bethel, Amy Rutberg, Jay Ali, and Geof Cantor amongst others. If you want to take part in it, gear up Season Three, Episode Four ("Blindsided") and press play right at 9 p.m. Eastern. Be sure to tweet along on Twitter with the #Daredevil and #QuarantineWatchParty hashtags to follow along!